End of Suffering??

A place for anything that doesn't fit into the existing forums
Post Reply
User avatar
Rob X
Posts: 324
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:37 pm

End of Suffering??

Post by Rob X » Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:22 pm

From my understanding, this idea that there can be freedom from suffering first came to prominence in early Buddhism where it is stated that there can be a cessation of dukkha - commonly translated as an end to suffering.

But in itself this can be somewhat misleading. Other translations and closer definitions of dukkha by modern scholars, are dissatisfaction and unease - and what they refer to is the vague but persistent feeling or sense that something about life is amiss. This existential unease - the sense that something is not quite right with the world - is the result of our innate disposition to abstract and divide up the universe and see ourselves as separate from the whole, resulting in a sense of vulnerability and alienation.

In the realisation that we are not other than this mysterious creative dance of existence, this sense of dukkha begins to dissolve - and this is the fabled 'end of suffering'. Other forms of suffering; the whole spectrum from pain, heartbreak, trauma, distress, discomfort, sadness etc. will almost certainly continue to arise in varying degrees in this biologically conditioned matrix that we call the mind-body organism.

I often hear it said that pain is inevitable and suffering is optional. Now I do agree with what is implied here, in that our responses to the discomfort and distress that arise in our experience can be modified to some extent (to a great extent in some cases of extreme psychological suffering), but the fact remains that (as far as I can see) some degree of trauma, stress and discomfort will inevitably arise in certain circumstances in sentient body-mind organisms with central nervous systems.

User avatar
rachMiel
Posts: 2498
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: inner space
Contact:

Re: End of Suffering??

Post by rachMiel » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:32 pm

What he said. :-)

Physical pain is part of the human condition. Probably of all life. (Do amoebas get headaches?)

What mind does with pain is where it gets interesting. Does it register pain as a physical sensation and leave it at that? Or does it weave pain into a personal story, part of the ongoing psychological narrative of one's life, the internal movie.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

User avatar
Psychoslice
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:47 am
Location: Australia

Re: End of Suffering??

Post by Psychoslice » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:52 pm

Suffering to me means to cling to what you believe to be suffering, the mind body will at times feel what we call pain, but the pain doesn't belong to you, let the body feel the pain but don't own it.

User avatar
Fore
Posts: 686
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:20 pm

Re: End of Suffering??

Post by Fore » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:54 pm

Rob X wrote:From my understanding, this idea that there can be freedom from suffering first came to prominence in early Buddhism where it is stated that there can be a cessation of dukkha - commonly translated as an end to suffering.
Yes this is the third Noble truth. Impermanence(anicca)
Rob X wrote:But in itself this can be somewhat misleading. Other translations and closer definitions of dukkha by modern scholars, are dissatisfaction and unease - and what they refer to is the vague but persistent feeling or sense that something about life is amiss. This existential unease - the sense that something is not quite right with the world - is the result of our innate disposition to abstract and divide up the universe and see ourselves as separate from the whole, resulting in a sense of vulnerability and alienation.
Everything is dukkha, everything has the characteristic of arising and passing away, therefore is unsatisfactory at the ultimate level. Nothing can ever give lasting happiness.
Rob X wrote:In the realisation that we are not other than this mysterious creative dance of existence, this sense of dukkha begins to dissolve - and this is the fabled 'end of suffering'.
Not quite, this is simply the 5th stage of insight known as Bhangha(dissolution). Many confuse this with the final goal Nibanna but this is merely a station one reaches on the path, you don't want to get stuck at this feel good station.
Rob X wrote:I often hear it said that pain is inevitable and suffering is optional. Now I do agree with what is implied here, in that our responses to the discomfort and distress that arise in our experience can be modified to some extent (to a great extent in some cases of extreme psychological suffering), but the fact remains that (as far as I can see) some degree of trauma, stress and discomfort will inevitably arise in certain circumstances in sentient body-mind organisms with central nervous systems.
The body will age and with this comes great pains, better to practice now when you are in good health. The Buddha prescribed a path to Nibanna(cessation), this is the 4th Noble truth known as the 8-fold Noble path, which consists of 3 parts morality(sila), mastery of the mind(Samadhi), and wisdom(panna).

Sila consists of:
right speech
right action
right livelihood

Samadhi consists of:
right effort
right awareness
right concentration

Panna consists of:
right thought
right understanding

Practicing these will lead to Nibanna(cessation) the end of suffering.

User avatar
Onceler
Posts: 2257
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:35 am
Location: My house

Re: End of Suffering??

Post by Onceler » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:12 am

Totally, utterly agree Rob X. You articulated very well something that has been rattling around in my head for a long time!
Be present, be pleasant.

User avatar
smiileyjen101
Posts: 3764
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:44 am

Re: End of Suffering??

Post by smiileyjen101 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:43 am

Fore said:
The Buddha prescribed a path to Nibanna(cessation), this is the 4th Noble truth known as the 8-fold Noble path, which consists of 3 parts morality(sila), mastery of the mind(Samadhi), and wisdom(panna).
Sila consists of:
right speech
right action
right livelihood

Samadhi consists of:
right effort
right awareness
right concentration

Panna consists of:
right thought
right understanding

Practicing these will lead to Nibanna(cessation) the end of suffering.
'Prescribed' is authoritarian and the sharing of the Buddha's wisdoms need not be turned into an authoritarian 'practice'. Practicing this in an authoritarian manner will just be holding onto the notions of there being a 'right' and 'wrong' way to be. It doesn't lead anywhere - there is only here/now.

To hold to a notion of 'right' creates a resistance to 'not right', that will not 'lead to the end of suffering', but ensure you stay right in the duality of it, searching for perfection in other than the perfection of what is right now. Searching for it outside of yourself, on the authority of another instead of being aware of your place and time and responses and consequences.

More simply in the wisdom, what you resist, persists.

As Rob said:
Other translations and closer definitions of dukkha by modern scholars, are dissatisfaction and unease - and what they refer to is the vague but persistent feeling or sense that something about life is amiss. This existential unease - the sense that something is not quite right with the world - is the result of our innate disposition to abstract and divide up the universe and see ourselves as separate from the whole, resulting in a sense of vulnerability and alienation.
To further divide up thought, speech, action etc as right/wrong will only dig that well deeper.

Sure stuff has natural consequences and we learn from them, each in our own ever changing awareness, capacity and willingness. If one believes in a 'right' then one holds to a 'wrong' and will be forever suspended between the two in conflict with each other.
Rob said: I often hear it said that pain is inevitable and suffering is optional. Now I do agree with what is implied here, in that our responses to the discomfort and distress that arise in our experience can be modified to some extent (to a great extent in some cases of extreme psychological suffering), but the fact remains that (as far as I can see) some degree of trauma, stress and discomfort will inevitably arise in certain circumstances in sentient body-mind organisms with central nervous systems.
I was intrigued, and grateful, to hear the Dalai Lama talk of his journeys of grief, and of physical pain and of emotional heartache, without deflecting or minimising his vulnerability or experiences, and indeed without the need to 'prescribe' for others.

Kahlil Gibran has a beautiful response about pain, also not a prescription, but a sharing of his understanding- when asked to speak of pain -
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy.
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields. And you would watch with serenity through the seasons of your grief.
Note that nowhere does he say that it is 'right' to ... but And could you.... you would... natural consequences unfolding within awareness, capacity, willingness.

That he separates 'what is' from what we might not understand that we create, is also said beautifully.
Much of your pain is self chosen.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.

(and yes I guess he does 'prescribe' a little here :wink: but no penalties but the natural consequences)

Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity:
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen.
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with his own sacred tears.
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
Nice OP Robx
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com

User avatar
Fore
Posts: 686
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:20 pm

Re: End of Suffering??

Post by Fore » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:23 pm

smiileyjen101 wrote: 'Prescribed' is authoritarian and the sharing of the Buddha's wisdoms need not be turned into an authoritarian 'practice'. Practicing this in an authoritarian manner will just be holding onto the notions of there being a 'right' and 'wrong' way to be. It doesn't lead anywhere - there is only here/now.

To hold to a notion of 'right' creates a resistance to 'not right', that will not 'lead to the end of suffering', but ensure you stay right in the duality of it, searching for perfection in other than the perfection of what is right now.
Perhaps this article can explain this better than I can, but I understand your concerns.

Reconciliation, Right & Wrong
by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu


"These two are fools. Which two? The one who doesn't see his/her transgression as a transgression, and the one who doesn't rightfully pardon another who has confessed his/her transgression. These two are fools.

"These two are wise. Which two? The one who sees his/her transgression as a transgression, and the one who rightfully pardons another who has confessed his/her transgression. These two are wise."

— AN 2.21


"It's a cause of growth in the Dhamma and Vinaya of the noble ones when, seeing a transgression as such, one makes amends in accordance with the Dhamma and exercises restraint in the future."

— DN 2

The Buddha succeeded in establishing a religion that has been a genuine force for peace and harmony, not only because of the high value he placed on these qualities but also because of the precise instructions he gave on how to achieve them through forgiveness and reconciliation. Central to these instructions is his insight that forgiveness is one thing, reconciliation is something else.

The Pali word for forgiveness-khama-also means "the earth." A mind like the earth is non-reactive and unperturbed. When you forgive me for harming you, you decide not to retaliate, to seek no revenge. You don't have to like me. You simply unburden yourself of the weight of resentment and cut the cycle of retribution that would otherwise keep us ensnarled in an ugly samsaric wrestling match. This is a gift you can give us both, totally on your own, without my having to know or understand what you've done.

Reconciliation — patisaraniya-kamma — means a return to amicability, and that requires more than forgiveness. It requires the reestablishing of trust. If I deny responsibility for my actions, or maintain that I did no wrong, there's no way we can be reconciled. Similarly, if I insist that your feelings don't matter, or that you have no right to hold me to your standards of right and wrong, you won't trust me not to hurt you again. To regain your trust, I have to show my respect for you and for our mutual standards of what is and is not acceptable behavior; to admit that I hurt you and that I was wrong to do so; and to promise to exercise restraint in the future. At the same time, you have to inspire my trust, too, in the respectful way you conduct the process of reconciliation. Only then can our friendship regain a solid footing.

Thus there are right and wrong ways of attempting reconciliation: those that skillfully meet these requirements for reestablishing trust, and those that don't. To encourage right reconciliation among his followers, the Buddha formulated detailed methods for achieving it, along with a culture of values that encourages putting those methods to use.

The methods are contained in the Pali Vinaya's instructions for how monks should confess their offenses to one another, how they should seek reconciliation with lay people they have wronged, how they should settle protracted disputes, and how a full split in the Sangha should be healed. Although directed to monks, these instructions embody principles that apply to anyone seeking reconciliation of differences, whether personal or political.

The first step in every case is an acknowledgement of wrongdoing. When a monk confesses an offense, such as having insulted another monk, he first admits to having said the insult. Then he agrees that the insult really was an offense. Finally, he promises to restrain himself from repeating the offense in the future. A monk seeking reconciliation with a lay person follows a similar pattern, with another monk, on friendly terms with the lay person, acting as mediator. If a dispute has broken the Sangha into factions that have both behaved in unseemly ways, then when the factions seek reconciliation they are advised first to clear the air in a procedure called "covering over with grass." Both sides make a blanket confession of wrongdoing and a promise not to dig up each other's minor offenses. This frees them to focus on the major wrongdoings, if any, that caused or exacerbated the dispute.

To heal a full split in the Sangha, the two sides are instructed first to inquire into the root intentions on both sides that led to the split, for if those intentions were irredeemably malicious or dishonest, reconciliation is impossible. If the group tries to patch things up without getting to the root of the split, nothing has really been healed. Only when the root intentions have been shown to be reconcilable and the differences resolved can the Sangha perform the brief ceremony that reestablishes harmony.

Pervading these instructions is the realization that genuine reconciliation cannot be based simply on the desire for harmony. It requires a mutual understanding of what actions served to create disharmony, and a promise to try to avoid those actions in the future. This in turn requires a clearly articulated agreement about — and commitment to — mutual standards of right and wrong. Even if the parties to a reconciliation agree to disagree, their agreement needs to distinguish between right and wrong ways of handling their differences.

Yet right and wrong have gotten a bad rap in Western Buddhist circles, largely because of the ways in which we have seen right and wrong abused in our own culture — as when one person tries to impose arbitrary standards or mean-spirited punishments on others, or hypocritically demands that others obey standards that he himself does not.

To avoid these abuses, some people have recommended living by a non-dual vision that transcends attachment to right and wrong. This vision, however, is open to abuse as well. In communities where it is espoused, irresponsible members can use the rhetoric of non-duality and non-attachment to excuse genuinely harmful behavior; their victims are left adrift, with no commonly accepted standards on which to base their appeals for redress. Even the act of forgiveness is suspect in such a context, for what right do the victims have to judge actions as requiring forgiveness or not? All too often, the victims are the ones held at fault for imposing their standards on others and not being able to rise above dualistic views.

This means that right and wrong have not really been transcended in such a community. They've simply been realigned: If you can claim a non-dual perspective, you're in the right no matter what you've done. If you complain about another person's behavior, you're in the wrong. And because this realignment is not openly acknowledged as such, it creates an atmosphere of hypocrisy in which genuine reconciliation is impossible.

So the solution lies not in abandoning right and wrong, but in learning how to use them wisely. Thus the Buddha backed up his methods for reconciliation with a culture of values whereby right and wrong become aids rather than hindrances to reconciliation. To prevent those in the right from abusing their position, he counseled that they reflect on themselves before they accuse another of wrongdoing. The checklist of questions he recommended boils down to this: "Am I free from unreconciled offenses of my own? Am I motivated by kindness, rather than vengeance? Am I really clear on our mutual standards?" Only if they can answer "yes" to these questions should they bring up the issue. Furthermore, the Buddha recommended that they determine to speak only words that are true, timely, gentle, to the point, and prompted by kindness. Their motivation should be compassion, solicitude for the welfare of all parties involved, and the desire to see the wrong-doer rehabilitated, together with an overriding desire to hold to fair principles of right and wrong.

To encourage a wrongdoer to see reconciliation as a winning rather than a losing proposition, the Buddha praised the honest acceptance of blame as an honorable rather than a shameful act: not just a means, but the means for progress in spiritual practice. As he told his son, Rahula, the ability to recognize one's mistakes and admit them to others is the essential factor in achieving purity in thought, word, and deed [MN 61]. Or as he said in the Dhammapada, people who recognize their own mistakes and change their ways "illumine the world like the moon when freed from a cloud" [Dhp 173].

In addition to providing these incentives for honestly admitting misbehavior, the Buddha blocked the paths to denial. Modern sociologists have identified five basic strategies that people use to avoid accepting blame when they've caused harm, and it's noteworthy that the Pali teaching on moral responsibility serves to undercut all five. The strategies are: to deny responsibility, to deny that harm was actually done, to deny the worth of the victim, to attack the accuser, and to claim that they were acting in the service of a higher cause. The Pali responses to these strategies are: (1) We are always responsible for our conscious choices. (2) We should always put ourselves in the other person's place. (3) All beings are worthy of respect. (4) We should regard those who point out our faults as if they were pointing out treasure. (Monks, in fact, are required not to show disrespect to people who criticize them, even if they don't plan to abide by the criticism.) (5) There are no — repeat, no — higher purposes that excuse breaking the basic precepts of ethical behavior.

In setting out these standards, the Buddha created a context of values that encourages both parties entering into a reconciliation to employ right speech and to engage in the honest, responsible self-reflection basic to all Dhamma practice. In this way, standards of right and wrong behavior, instead of being oppressive or petty, engender deep and long-lasting trust. In addition to creating the external harmony conducive to Dhamma practice, the process of reconciliation thus also becomes an opportunity for inner growth.

The Buddha admitted that not all disputes can be reconciled. There are times when one or both parties are unwilling to exercise the honesty and restraint that true reconciliation requires. Even then, though, forgiveness is still an option. This is why the distinction between reconciliation and forgiveness is so important. It encourages us not to settle for mere forgiveness when the genuine healing of right reconciliation is possible; and it allows us to be generous with our forgiveness even when it is not.

User avatar
Rob X
Posts: 324
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:37 pm

Re: End of Suffering??

Post by Rob X » Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:02 pm

Fore, I hear where you're coming from. Much of what you write on this forum comes from what I would call the religious end of Buddhism - plenty of doctrine, commandments and instructions etc. If this works for you then fine - but it's not the truth - it's just more (somewhat archaic) pointing.

I've been interested in (and at one time, involved with) Buddhism for many years - these days my interest is purely in the essence of the teachings shorn of the doctrine and dogma. If you're interested, I would heartily recommend Stephen Batchelor's 'Confession of a Buddhist Atheist' as a good place to start.

By the way, the third noble truth is not impermanence. Impermanence is one of the three marks of existence.

User avatar
KathleenBrugger
Posts: 604
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:18 pm
Contact:

Re: End of Suffering??

Post by KathleenBrugger » Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:46 pm

Interesting OP Rob. This is a good example of how translation, particularly from ancient writings, can create misunderstandings. I have never seriously studied Buddhism, and somewhere I got the idea of interpreting that first noble truth as "desire." In other words, the desire for this moment to be some way other than it is. This is like the idea of "unsatisfactoriness." And this brings in ET's power of now--the cessation of dukkha comes when we fully inhabit this moment of now with no resistance. To no longer wish for more or less than what is in this moment.

You mention the difference between pain and suffering. Someone once said to me that pain is the physical feeling experienced in response to trauma, be it physical or mental/emotional, while suffering is the result of resisting the pain--when we desire that it go away or not exist in the first place...So in this sense, desire always leads to suffering, because desire rejects the Now.
We are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity
http://kathleenbrugger.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Rob X
Posts: 324
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:37 pm

Re: End of Suffering??

Post by Rob X » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:41 pm

KathleenBrugger wrote:You mention the difference between pain and suffering. Someone once said to me that pain is the physical feeling experienced in response to trauma, be it physical or mental/emotional, while suffering is the result of resisting the pain--when we desire that it go away or not exist in the first place...So in this sense, desire always leads to suffering, because desire rejects the Now.
I'm not necessarily disagreeing Kathleen, I'm just wondering out loud, can we not be present (in the now) and still have some form of desire?

I get the sense that there is a spectrum of inclination - from out and out aversion to something (like intense pain), to micro-desires such as wanting to compose a coherent sentence in response to your comment. It seems to me that we can be present and still have a sense of movement towards something. Perhaps it's at the intense end of the spectrum, when a desire/aversion becomes all-consuming that we lose our sense of ground/presence.

Enlightened2B
Posts: 1907
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 10:51 pm
Location: New York

Re: End of Suffering??

Post by Enlightened2B » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:10 pm

I think what Rob's saying (and I would agree) is that even desire and such is still happening 'now'. When we talk about 'presence', generally, it's referred to the attention of awareness on 'now'. However, even when our attention is caught up in thought and dwelling on something such an emotion like desire, it's STILL happening.....Now. It's not like it's taking place at a future point in time or in the past.

So, the question is.....how can desire fit in with 'presence' when it often leads to suffering? My answer would be, that perhaps suffering is not something to be 'rejected' or 'avoided', but merely a normal human biological process of the human experience or the evolution of Awareness, just like disease and sickness is. Perhaps evolution itself is merely the process of 'Life Force' or 'Consciousness'. Clearly we experience a range of emotions from happiness to incredible despair. But, that's all part of 'being human'. You can't deny your humanness even though humanness is stemming from a larger picture of 'awareness'. When you deny your humanness, your're closing yourself off to life in general. While we might not realize it, all of these emotions are only taking place within 'this' Being that we are or this "creative ground" as Rob likes to say or....NOW.

I no longer will say that it is not US who is experiencing the suffering. Of course it is. Who else is experiencing the suffering? Each of us is merely a perspective of the whole. There's no way around it. Therefore, we each have our own mind/bodies within the context of the whole creative ground that is 'life' or 'Consciousness'. When there is suffering, it is each mind/body (person) who is experiencing this suffering because we tend to identify with the thought process of the body/mind. In seeing through this suffering, we can often understand where the suffering is stemming from. But, merely just allowing all that is to be there is and feeling every emotion as fully as possible is the extent of humanness in my opinion.

We might ultimately BE the Big Picture of Consciousness from an Absolute point of view, but we have no choice, but to explore and live out our lives in the human nature that we exist as.

User avatar
dijmart
Posts: 2116
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:35 pm

Re: End of Suffering??

Post by dijmart » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:42 pm

Rob X wrote: I often hear it said that pain is inevitable and suffering is optional. Now I do agree with what is implied here, in that our responses to the discomfort and distress that arise in our experience can be modified to some extent (to a great extent in some cases of extreme psychological suffering), but the fact remains that (as far as I can see) some degree of trauma, stress and discomfort will inevitably arise in certain circumstances in sentient body-mind organisms with central nervous systems.
I think that if one has suffered from extreme psychological suffering, then when that comes to an end, it's easy to think for awhile that you've reached some end point, because of the great contrast felt between the two extremes. However, this of course isn't usually an end, but the beginning of the journey, if you will and then the more subtle extremes of contrast become apparent.

I was reading Nisargadatta yesterday and he was referring to himself and said something like- emotions arise (even anger), but then you remember who you are and they're gone again.

I took that to mean, if something arises, allow it to arise, but you don't have to make a problem out of it. This notion of never having another negative emotion after awakening seems ridiculous. Everything just arises, just like thoughts, they arise within consciousness.
Take what you like and leave the rest.

User avatar
KathleenBrugger
Posts: 604
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:18 pm
Contact:

Re: End of Suffering??

Post by KathleenBrugger » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:05 pm

Enlightened2B wrote:I think what Rob's saying (and I would agree) is that even desire and such is still happening 'now'. When we talk about 'presence', generally, it's referred to the attention of awareness on 'now'. However, even when our attention is caught up in thought and dwelling on something such an emotion like desire, it's STILL happening.....Now. It's not like it's taking place at a future point in time or in the past.

So, the question is.....how can desire fit in with 'presence' when it often leads to suffering? My answer would be, that perhaps suffering is not something to be 'rejected' or 'avoided', but merely a normal human biological process of the human experience or the evolution of Awareness, just like disease and sickness is. Perhaps evolution itself is merely the process of 'Life Force' or 'Consciousness'. Clearly we experience a range of emotions from happiness to incredible despair. But, that's all part of 'being human'. You can't deny your humanness even though humanness is stemming from a larger picture of 'awareness'. When you deny your humanness, your're closing yourself off to life in general. While we might not realize it, all of these emotions are only taking place within 'this' Being that we are or this "creative ground" as Rob likes to say or....NOW.
I think desire is the mechanism of the physical universe. Without desire there would be nothing. The most basic desire is to exist and keep on existing. I understand your point that desire happens in the Now, but I still would argue that desire at its root wants something other than what is. When I looked up desire online the definition is: "1. a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen, and 2. strongly wish for or want (something)." This sounds to me like wanting the way it is to be different. That's what I meant by "rejecting the Now," not that it isn't happening in the Now, but that the way it is in this moment of now is not okay, we want it to be some other way. There's no acceptance of what is, no loving what is.
We are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity
http://kathleenbrugger.blogspot.com/

Enlightened2B
Posts: 1907
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 10:51 pm
Location: New York

Re: End of Suffering??

Post by Enlightened2B » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:43 pm

KathleenBrugger wrote: I think desire is the mechanism of the physical universe. Without desire there would be nothing. The most basic desire is to exist and keep on existing. I understand your point that desire happens in the Now, but I still would argue that desire at its root wants something other than what is. When I looked up desire online the definition is: "1. a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen, and 2. strongly wish for or want (something)." This sounds to me like wanting the way it is to be different. That's what I meant by "rejecting the Now," not that it isn't happening in the Now, but that the way it is in this moment of now is not okay, we want it to be some other way. There's no acceptance of what is, no loving what is.
And I would agree with this. Granted, what should be noted.....just because 'awakening' might take place, does not mean that desire no longer happens. Desire, is a product of humanness just like any other human emotion. Yes, it's a product of the physical universe, but the physical universe can be said to be a product of the creative ground of 'Being' perhaps. Desire is neither right nor wrong. It just is. I don't think it's a problem until we make it a problem. Often, if desire is strong enough with not enough 'grounding' in root of Consciousness or 'presence', then that desire will ultimately lead to suffering as it takes on a life of its own, but nothing can stop that. That's the natural evolution of 'what is'.

You can still desire things while being rooted in 'presence'. There's a HUGE difference. I desire healthy food that will help my body and GI tract to heal from a GI illness that I have. I desire a new les paul guitar because I want it. We have the power relatively speaking to make our lives better, so there's nothing wrong with wanting to make changes in our life. There's nothing wrong with those desires as long as they don't become a means to an end. Sexual desires are perfectly natural as well and there's no reason at ALL, that they should be looked upon as anything other than what they are. They are mechanisms of the human body and should be acted upon as such. As long as once again, a sexual desire does not take on a life of its own.

If a desire ultimately leads to suffering, then so be it. That's the natural evolution of life. It's neither right nor wrong. It just is. Suffering too is just another arising within life. Suffering can even be a positive as often it can lead one to a major awakening. Suffering is a natural part of being human, just like awakening is. It's neither right nor wrong. It can be an incredible learning tool in the evolution of life. That's how I look at it. Years of suffering led me down the path to Eckhart Tolle.

Enlightened2B
Posts: 1907
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 10:51 pm
Location: New York

Re: End of Suffering??

Post by Enlightened2B » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:45 pm

dijmart wrote: I was reading Nisargadatta yesterday and he was referring to himself and said something like- emotions arise (even anger), but then you remember who you are and they're gone again.

I took that to mean, if something arises, allow it to arise, but you don't have to make a problem out of it. This notion of never having another negative emotion after awakening seems ridiculous. Everything just arises, just like thoughts, they arise within consciousness.
Exactly. This is a great point dijmart and exactly what I was trying to say in my post above.

Post Reply